Chamber announces Superstars in Education winners


 The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, The Partnership, Inc., announced the 2017 Superstars in Education award winners. 

Winners will  be recognized at a reception and awards ceremony on Monday, May 8. The event will be held at 4:45 p.m. at Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center Auditorium. The cost to attend is $35 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information about the event, or to register, visit

For 25 years, schools across the state have displayed their Superstars in Education banner. While many go through the rigorous application process, only a handful of winners are selected each year. Programs range from single classroom programs to collaborations between classes, or with other schools, or through community partnerships.

The Superstars in Education Selection Committee considered nominations from public, private, magnet, charter and parochial schools from around the state. Seven winners will be honored this year. Leaders from both the education and business worlds will make appearances during the May 8 reception and awards ceremony.

 2017 Superstars in Education Winners:

Farm to School

William Penn High School, Colonial School District

The Farm to School program encompasses three career and technical education areas: Environmental Science, Culinary and Agriculture. It is the collaboration of these three programs that make this winning application unique. It allows students to learn academically, while growing personally, as they are challenged by themselves, their peers and their teachers. The objective is to provide students with hands-on skills while learning real-world applicable knowledge in a unique and supportive learning environment.

Exceptional Cognitive Enrichment Learning Program (ExCEL)

Georgetown Elementary School, Indian River School District

Indian River’s district wide program, ExCEL, is a STEM-based enrichment program that challenges elementary age gifted and talented students’ critical and creative thinking skills so they can develop into better problem solvers for tomorrow. Created over 30 years ago, the program has adapted to the changing educational needs of students. Students leave the program with a greater knowledge of engineering and a more thorough understanding of how STEM careers are attainable, creative and interesting. 

Growing the Pipeline for STEM Education in the Brandywine School District

Brandywine, Concord and Mount Pleasant High Schools, Brandywine School District

Brandywine School District has reimagined their high school STEM course offerings to focus particularly on engineering. These STEM classes were designed to engage students in creative, rigorous learning experiences that were complementary to the current science and math programs in the district. As a result, they have increased the number of underrepresented groups and pathway completion rates, and raised achievement scores for students enrolled in these STEM courses.

War on Waste

Clayton Intermediate School, Smyrna School District

Clayton Intermediate School, in collaboration with the Smyrna School District, has partnered with the Delaware Waste Industries to implement a district-wide recycling program. The program has grown into a more in-depth, more comprehensive program that has allowed the school district to collectively learn about, participate in, and be aware of our personal responsibility for a cleaner, greener environment. By empowering the students to take action with solid waste management, Clayton Intermediate School has impacted the Smyrna School District and local community by raising awareness of the importance of recycling, by making connections among the schools through a common goal. As a result, the program has created district-wide financial savings.

Take Two, Own Two: Teacher to Student Mentoring

Shue-Medill Middle School, Christina School District

This program is designed to target those students identified as “high-risk” behaviorally and academically. Every teacher/faculty member in the building mentors two students throughout the school year, creating a connection that adds to a student’s sense of belonging, and increases the desire to be in school and achieve success. The goals are based on academic and behavioral needs of the students as decided by the student and teacher mentor pair.

Highlander Café

Thomas McKean High School, Red Clay Consolidated School District

The McKean Highlander Café is an entrepreneurial opportunity for students enrolled in the Culinary Arts pathway. The Culinary Arts students operate a restaurant where they create menus, take orders, prepare and serve food, deliver orders and manage the logistics of the Café. The Highlander Café crew has forged important community partnerships with local organizations, allowing the students to utilize their skills and talents to feed the homeless at a local church, or work in food service concessions for a professional sports franchise. This type of active learning provides students with motivation to achieve at high levels, develops complex professional skills and gives students the competitive edge they will need in the career or college environment.

Project SEARCH at Bayhealth

Kent County Community School, Capital School District

Project SEARCH is a high school transition program for students ages 18-21 with moderate to severe cognitive or physical disabilities who possess the desire to gain transferable, marketable skills and learn independent living skills. The critical component of the success of Project SEARCH is the host business, Bayhealth. Bayhealth offers 21 department opportunities in which students rotate through three ten-week internships.

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